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Kosovo can have delegation at Rio 2016 Olympics

Olympic flag

Feb 13, 2002; Salt Lake, Utah: A general feature of an Olympic Flag at the XIX Winter Olympics. Mandatory Credit: Witters Sport via US PRESSWIRE


Kosovo can have an Olympic delegation for the first time at the Rio 2016 Games after the International Olympic Committee granted the nation full recognition Tuesday.

Kosovo, provisionally recognized in October, became the 205th National Olympic Committee recognize by the IOC.

“This is one big day, one historical day for athletes of Kosovo,” Kosovo Olympic Committee head Besim Hasani said, according to The Associated Press. “This is the beginning of a new era for the Olympic movement in Kosovo.”

Kosovo, which gained independence from Serbia in 2008, has never had athletes compete at the Olympics under its flag.

Kosovo is home to a two-time reigning World champion judoka, Majlinda Kelmendi, who competed for Albania at the London 2012 Games since she didn’t have an option to represent Kosovo.

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